We just got back this past Sunday from spending 2 1/2 weeks in the US. I know we’ve only been in Europe for 3 months, but it was scary how easily I slid right back into my old habits in the US. Fast food, snacking, no exercise. In 3 months in Amsterdam, I had lost about 13 pounds. 2 and a half weeks in the US, and I gained 5 back.
When in Iowa, Roxy’s parents took us to Wal Mart, and we scoured the shelves for small grocery items that we can’t get here. Roxy’s mom then shipped them back to us in Amsterdam, and that package arrived today. We had some cough drops (you can get those here, but not as good, in my opinion), some NyQuil (medicine like that is prescription only here), lots of packets of Crystal Light juice mix, and flavor packets (like Taco Flavoring, Enchilada flavoring, ranch dip, etc).
I do miss the food in the US, so I made a tour of all my favorite places: Wendy’s, Qdoba, Jack in the Box, McDonalds (for a McRib!), Taco Bell, Olive Garden, Jimmy John’s, and others. My mom was also so kind as to cook us a mini Thanksgiving feast, with turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, etc. It was heaven. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s football & food, what more could you ask for? I’m bummed that I’ll be missing it. Roxy and I need to try to find a place around here to order a turkey. The Dutch aren’t big on Turkey evidently, since you can’t even find sliced turkey in the markets. It’s ham or chicken, or nothing.
Churchill seems to be settling into life here. We bought him a bed at the local pet store (dierenwinkel in Dutch – dieren = pet, winkel = store), and have taken him on a few walks around the neighborhood. He’s fascinated by the bicycles, and scared of the scooters.
Life in the US was easy, since it’s what I know. Life as an expat is more difficult, especially being a country where you don’t speak the local language. I knew it would be a challenge, and that’s half of what excites me. Life in the US is easy, life in Amsterdam is energizing 🙂